Roanna Martin

"make [food] simple and let things taste of what they are." {Curnonsky}

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Banana Bean Ice Cream

I love to be adventurous in the kitchen, and one of my favorite things to make is frozen desserts. Even when it’s cold outside- banana “ice cream” is quite scrumptious. A handful of frozen bananas, some skim milk, a dash of cinnamon, and a few drips of vanilla. Simple and decadent.

I’m also a big fan of my food processor. The thrifted Sunbeam Oskar has a sturdy little motor, and can create about 2.5 cups of hummus, various dips, and purees in a matter of seconds. 

Hummus… bananas… hmmm…. What if, instead of “Vanilla Bean”, I made “Banana Bean”?

To freeze bananas, peel them, and then cut into 1 inch chunks. Place on a metal cookie sheet with sides (a jelly roll pan works well) and place in the freezer for about a half day. Then place the frozen banana pieces in a plastic freezer bag. I have found that they will keep for about a month before they start to get brown. 

I actually froze chickpeas on the same sheet- I cook a whole big pot at once, drain, and then freeze them like this (once again transferring to a bag when they are frozen), so that I can pull out the exact amount I need.


Banana Bean Ice Cream

Servings: 2

2 bananas, frozen

1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans (rinsed)

1/2 cup skim milk

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

Sweetener to taste ( I used a dash of stevia powder)

Place all ingredients in food processor and puree until smooth.

Scoop out and savor!

This isn’t a decadent ice cream, but it’s good. And it’s packed full of fruit and fiber at 6.5 grams- a pretty good chunk of the recommended 25 grams per day!


Nutrition Facts 

1/2 of recipe, calculated with no added sweetener. It’s important to note that this is calculated with a medium banana- so  if the bananas you use are extra big or small, this will affect the nutrient content. It might have been a bit more accurate if I had weighed it.
198 calories
7 g protein
42 g carb
1.5 g fat
6.5 g fiber
(DietAnalysisPlus Software)
Speaking of frozen things, cross country skiing has been my preferred form of aerobic exercise these past few weeks. Fresh air, low cost, fun. If you’ve never tried it before, you totally should.


Delicata Squash: A Template

Who wants to know what I ate for dinner tonight? Well, I didn’t really think anyone would… but Emily encouraged me to blog about this, so here goes:

For $2 at the Morgantown Farmers’ Market on Sunday, I picked up a wee little gem: a Delicata Squash.

Photo Courtesy of Serious Eats

They are typically about 5 or 6 inches long, and 2 or 3 inches in diameter, and make a perfect meal for two people.

I first discovered the beauty of cooking with these fall vegetables last year, at which point I called them: “My New Favorite Convenience Food” on my previous blog. 

Chop the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.

Place both halves cut side down in a container with a little bit of water. Then either microwave the squash for about 4 or five minutes, or bake for about 15 minutes.

Then, turn the squash over so you have little “canoes”. Fill with items such as cooked beans, tomato chunks, cooked rice, cooked ground beef, sauteed onions, and whatever spices you please. This is a great way to use leftover chili, or pieces of chicken, or anything that’s in your fridge, really! Top with a sprinkle of reduced fat cheese.

Return to the microwave for five minutes or until contents are thoroughly heated and cheese is melted.

For those of you who like measurements and ingredients, here is what went into mine tonight.

Combine in bowl:

1 cup cooked kidney beans

1/2 c shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese (reserving a small amount to sprinkle on top)

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place mixture in partially cooked squash, and return to oven or microwave to finish cooking.

When you pull it out, top each half with 1/4 cup salsa.



When prepared this way, each squash half contains:

252 calories

6.4 g fat

34.8 g carbohydrates

10.2 g fiber

14.9 g protein

66.4% RDA of Vitamin A

(Nutrient Analysis:

Winter squash is a more-than-excellent source of vitamin A, which is known to help promote and maintain healthy skin, teeth, connective tissues, and vision. So, rather than pay money to pop a pill, why not try some real food that’s super high in vitamins and minerals?

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Employee Wellness

 Last year, West Virginia’s Dining Services was awarded a gold level National Excellence in Worksite Wellness honor by the Well Council of West Virginia. WVU Dining Services provides healthy food options, offers stretching and walking breaks, and provides semi-annual employee training and other stress management programs. Another component of making this a Well Workplace is to provide monthly newsletters about pertinent topics for employee wellness.

One of my projects at this rotation was to write an employee newsletter. I chose to focus on one of my favorite foods: beans! In addition, I also did some research and included information onstress management, physical activity, and smoking cessation. I’ve placed some exerpts from the newsletter here on the blog. If you want to see the finished publication, click to access the Wellness Program Newsletter.



Beans and peas are excellent sources of plant protein, fiber, folate, and potassium, and provide other important nutrients, like iron and zinc.

Because of all these great nutrients, studies have shown that eating 1/2 cup of cooked dried beans a day may help to lower total cholesterol levels. Commonly consumed beans and peas include:

Kidney beans 

Pinto Beans

Black Beans

Lima Beans

Black-eyed peas

Garbanzo beans

Split peas


Beans are inexpensive, and are available dry, canned, and frozen. If you don’t like the texture of whole beans, try pureeing them in a food processor or blender. Try adding a cup of beans to one of the following foods for variety and nutrition:

Spaghetti sauce black, kidney, or pinto

Omelets black beans

 Vegetable Salads chickpeas

And this is one of my very favorite Kitchen Tips:

Cook a large pot of beans, drain, and then spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. After a few hours, place the beans in a plastic freezer bag. Anytime you need beans for a recipe, just pull out a handful or two!

Stress Management

Here are some approaches to help you manage stress:

Get other points of view. Talk with colleagues or friends. They may be able to provide insights or offer suggestions for coping. Just having someone to talk to can be a relief.

Take a break. Make the most of workday breaks. Even 10 minutes of personal time can be refreshing.

 Have an outlet. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Make sure to spend time on activities you enjoy, such as reading, socializing or pursuing a hobby.

Take care of yourself. Be vigilant about taking care of your health. Get regular exercise and plenty of sleep, and eat a healthy diet.

 Physical Activity

Choose activities that you enjoy and can do regularly. Fitting activity into a daily routine can be easy — such as taking a brisk 10 minute walk to and from the parking lot or bus stop. Or, join an exercise class. Keep it interesting by trying something different on alternate days. Every little bit adds up and doing something is better than doing nothing. Try these activities:

At Home

Clean the house or wash the car.

Walk the dog — don’t just watch the dog walk.

Do stretches, exercises, or pedal a stationary bike while watching television.

Walk, skate, or cycle more, and drive less

At Work

Replace a coffee break with a brisk 10-minute walk. Ask a friend to go with you.

Take part in an exercise program at work or a nearby gym.

Walk to your coworkers desk instead of sending an email.

At Play

Walk, jog, skate or bicycle on the Rail Trail.

Take a nature walk.

Play basketball, softball, or soccer.

Play tennis, racket ball, or volleyball.

Swim or do water aerobics

 Dealing with Tobacco Triggers

Which action steps are best for your needs?

After a meal: 

  • Leave the table immediately after I’m done eating. 
  • Brush my teeth or use gum or mints.
  • Get busy with chores or a fun activity.

Before driving my car or when driving: 

  • Remove smoking-related items.
  • Deodorize my car.
  • Pay at pump rather than go inside.

At work I will:

  • Try a new routine at break time, such as a crossword puzzle.
  • Identify a reward for completing a project or task.
  • Go for a walk with a co-worker during lunch.